We met some amazing new families. One family, the Lara’s, got to play with Raven all day, to kind of take a DAD out for a test drive. Raven was perfect for most of the day, even giving several alerts to blood sugar issues. She let us know by the end of the day though, that she didn’t want to go home with anyone else but us 🙂
We come together to take pictures, video, and write up a bio for each animal, all while spending time with them socializing them and seeing how they do in certain situations. This is all in an effort to network these dogs to get them adopted/rescued. The Baldwin Park Shelter is an LA County facility, and does practice euthanasia, so we have a very limited time to get these dogs out. More »
As the image says, this month is all about Black Dog and Cat Syndrome Awareness month. I volunteer in a high kill shelter taking photographs to help get animals adopted. Black dog bias is alive and well. There are lot’s of thoughts as to why this exists. Black dogs are often portrayed as evil/mean/nasty in movies and TV. Black is the color of some of the dominant breeds like Rottweilers and Dobermans, often portrayed as security or guard dogs, or “devil dogs”. Black cats are the symbol of Halloween. More »
It’s been a long time since I’ve done this with any frequency. One could even say it was a different lifetime ago.
So, who am I? I’m a dad of 2 beautiful kids. My wife and I have a boy and a girl, and our daughter is a type 1 diabetic and has Asperger’s (a high functioning form of autism). In order to help us keep her blood sugar in check, we have 2 service dogs, or Diabetic Alert Dogs, better known as DAD’s.
The first question I am normally asked is, “Why do you have 2 service dogs?”
There isn’t a quick answer, so here goes. When we first started our search for a DAD, my wife and I, being big animal rescue people (don’t shop, adopt!) thought it would be amazing to just go pick a dog out at the shelter and find someone to train it. That proved to be a very naive thought. We initially had trouble even finding a service dog trainer willing to listen to us! When we finally came across Canine Hope, they were willing to listen, but gave us a new option. Crystal, the head of the organization and also a trainer, told us that the only way this would work was if she scoured the shelters looking for the right type of dog. You see, with service dogs, there is so much money and time invested in training that there is a few things that need to be assured. First, that the dog is young and healthy. If you are already going to be spending 1-2 years training, and then want to have the dog work for 10 years, you need to start out young. Secondly, and one of the biggest issues with pound puppies, is it’s critical to know the background of the dog. These dogs go everywhere with us, so you need to know whether the dog will freak out if a boy in a grey hoodie goes by, or if it hates men in uniforms, things like that. And third, if it comes from a legitimate breeder, the dog will have health guarantees, generally covering vision and hips. More »
I am not a Dr, a dog trainer, or a diabetic specialist. I was thrust into this world by the grace of God, and I have been learning along the way. I blog about my own experiences, many of which involve trial and error. Nothing here should be considered medical advice, just the experience of a family that has banged it's head into a wall a few times, said "ouch", and realized there may be a different way...
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